The Biggest Twitch
November 3, 2008 10:44 PM   Subscribe

Suppression is the act of concealing news of a rare bird from other twitchers. Other twitchers take the more open approach - Sean Dooley broke the Australian record for most birds seen in a year, and inspired by his example, Alan Davies and Ruth Miller gave up their jobs and embarked on a quest to see "over 3,662 different species of birds in twelve months, from 1st January to 31st December 2008." On October 31st, they achieved their goal.
posted by awfurby (13 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Super! Ich möchte vögeln ;-)
posted by kisch mokusch at 12:03 AM on November 4, 2008

This guy in a station wagon is riding down the road with the back full of penguins. A cop sees him and pulls him over and says,"I want you to take those penguins to the zoo right now!" The guy says, "O.K." Next day the cop sees this same guy going down the road with the penguins in the back. This time the penguins are wearing sunglasses. He pulls the guy over again and says,"I thought I told you to take those penguins to the zoo." The guy answers, "Yeah, that's right, we went and had a helluva time. We're going to the beach today!"
posted by netbros at 12:31 AM on November 4, 2008 [2 favorites]

This was not the befuddled cat-loving comedian Alan Davies I was hoping for. :(
Alan Davies's Wonderful World of Knowing About Birds would be great fun.
posted by Free word order! at 1:42 AM on November 4, 2008

When I lived in Darwin, some Indonesian heron blew in, way off course, and sent the local (and not so local) twitchers completely nutters. The fact that it landed in Australia made it an Australian bird, and since it was likely to piss off home again pretty quickly, it would have left a lot of people with gaps in their notebooks if they missed it.

Personally, I find bird identification a pain in the arse.
posted by Jimbob at 3:02 AM on November 4, 2008

Personally, I find bird identification a pain in the arse.

When they tell you their name, stare into their eyes and say their name in your head three times - that way when you see them again you'll have no trouble recognising them.

(Hey everyone else is telling jokes in this thread - I might as well...)
posted by awfurby at 3:52 AM on November 4, 2008

I was going to say something derisive about completist twitchers versus low-key birdwatchers who do it because they find birds interesting, even if they've seen the species many times. But then while I was getting coffee, a migrating white wagtail appeared at my kitchen window for the first time ever, and in the resulting wigout and identification effort I realized that I should not throw stones at the other nerds.
posted by Your Time Machine Sucks at 3:54 AM on November 4, 2008 [2 favorites]

I saw this in the trib the other day about bird watching. Just creates the funniest scene in my mind.
posted by a robot made out of meat at 4:45 AM on November 4, 2008

I confess a love for the burgeoning literary genre of birder porn. Phoebe Snetsinger's book is not especially well-wrought but I ate it up. Redtails in Love, The Big Year -- guilty pleasures.

I once twitched. Drove an hour to see a redheaded woodpecker. Totally worth it.
posted by Jode at 6:32 AM on November 4, 2008

That's an interesting story - thanks for that link meatrobot.
posted by awfurby at 6:33 AM on November 4, 2008

This is great! I was just thinking this morning that I've got to work on my notes of my UFOs from my Costa Rican adventure two weeks ago. Thanks for the kick in the pants! ;]

MeFi birdwatchers unite!
posted by fiercecupcake at 6:43 AM on November 4, 2008

When I lived in Darwin, some Indonesian heron blew in

I initially read this as Indonesian heroin, and for a moment I thought the thread was going to start getting exciting.

I've never understood why Twitchers don't attract the same sort of scorn as Trainspotters. I don't have anything against either hobby, but the two pastimes do seem remarkably similar to me.

Seen it, ticked it off the list, now onto the next one. Both always seemed a bit like an OCD to me.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 7:31 AM on November 4, 2008

OCD -- At its most extreme, birding can be just making marks on a checklist but in my experience, even the twitchiest, most list-oriented birders are passionate nature lovers who have devoted countless hours to study and observation. I know it looks nutty to the people around me, but I've always found obsession to be a productive cognitive strategy.
posted by Jode at 7:53 AM on November 4, 2008

This guy in a station wagon...

You know, netbros, I was starting to worry you had lost your joke book (or maybe I just wasn't looking at the right threads. Well, uh, thanks; I like jokes.

posted by inigo2 at 9:35 AM on November 4, 2008

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